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Full text of "Long Lance"

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FIRST   REMEMBERED   THINGS

place the needles on our backs and let them burn
down. If there was any one among us who could
not stand the pain, we would ridicule him and tell
him that he could never become a warrior.

On occasion we would take the sharp bone
needles which our mothers used to sew the skins
with, and make little rips in each other's legs
until they bled. Then we would wash them with
fresh water. Our fathers told us that this would
let out the bad blood and prevent us from having
sickness, or becoming tired in our strenuous
games during the summer months.

Our moral training was entirely in the hands
of our mothers. They would tell us about the
Indian's Great Spirit; and they told us that when
we grew older the Great Spirit would appoint
some other good spirit in the spirit world to be
our guide and look after us. This spirit would
give us our 'medicine'—lucky charm—our medi-
cine-song and our death-song; the former to be
sung at all times when in trouble, and the latter
when we were called upon to die.

We had no Bible as the white boys have; so our
mothers trained us to live right by telling us
legends of how all of the good things started to
be good. We had a legend for everything—from
the care of our feet to the 'great shame' befalling
those who tell lies. Many long winter afternoons
we would sit around our mother as she made skins

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